How you communicate in email can say a lot about you as an employee, a business partner, and a professional. One area often overlooked and forgotten can be your signature since you can easily set it and forget it. I encourage you to take a look at your signature with the following advice in mind:
Do make sure that your font matches, or at least mimics, the text in the email. Avoid using colorful font or font vastly different from the font you are using in your email. The pink and purple cursive font may be too much of a distraction for the reader and they could get the wrong impression of you.
Do not provide unnecessary information in your signature, like a quote or personal anecdote. You may be trying to give your email a personal touch, but only do so if the person receiving the email appreciates it. Carefully evaluate your position, as well as the people you are communicating with in email prior to including such items in your signature.
Do be selective about the amount of contact information provided. Pick the ones most likely to be used, or the ones most applicable to your position. If you do not use a fax machine as part of your regular job duties, then you don’t need it in your signature. You can always provide it to the few people that may need it.
Do not use an image in place of text, as they don’t always go through. I am referring to the use of an image for your entire signature, not a social media icon, which you should do for one-click contact. Images may not be compatible with the email system being used by the reader, or it may not show up depending how your email is being viewed.
You may be asking why some of this matters; because 50% or more of the emails are read on smart phones or tablets. When you do things like add too many points of contact, quotes, and images, you risk making your signature unreadable. There is also a chance you could cause “wrapping” (when information shows up on multiple lines when it’s supposed to be on one). Your signature could be distorted, or even worse, unreadable.
Your signature is a reflection of who you are as a professional, each and every time you communicate with someone. By evaluating how your signature appears to others, you portray yourself as a seasoned professional with a clear grasp on proper, professional communication.
About the Author: Ann started her education at the University of Findlay and completed an Associates degree in Equestrian Studies in 2005. After working for a few years in a wide variety of farm/ranch jobs, she completed her Bachelors in Health Care Administration at Ashford University. Ann served as a clinical technician in an ICU/Telemetry unit before working as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Cardiac, Vascular, and Thoracic surgery.
In 2011, Ann transitioned from working in the healthcare field into higher education and started as an Academic Advisor. While working as an advisor, Ann developed a passion for assisting students in converting their education into careers and became a career coach in 2014. Ann currently works with students in the health, nursing, and Intelligence/National Security, and Military industries.